New Releases: Fangirls, Forbidden Love, and Seizing Your Own Destiny

Grace and the Fever, by Zan Romanoff
A fangirl from way back is forced to confront the reality behind the image in Romanoff’s perfectly titled sophomore novel. Grace is the only one of her friends who never got over tween heartthrob boy band Fever Dream, and only her community of fellow online fans knows the truth about her. Then a chance meeting with band member Jes turns, impossibly, into an IRL romance, in a book that’s kinda sweet, kinda dark, and the right read for anyone who has ever crushed on an onstage stranger.

Flame in the Mist, by Renée Ahdieh
Mariko may be a gifted inventor, but she’s also a dutiful daughter in Feudal Japan, where the expected extent of a girl’s ambitions is an advantageous marriage, not a future of her choosing. Her samurai father pushes her into a match with a man whose relation to the Emperor will raise Mariko’s entire family’s position, but on the way to fulfilling her duty Mariko’s party is set on by the vicious Black Clan. When she learns they were contracted to kill her, she disguises herself as a boy and attempts to embed in their ranks. Instead she’s taken as a prisoner to their leader and his right-hand man, kicking off a dangerous and deepening relationship with two men who believe her to be the boy she’s masquerading as, and whose confidences will change her life.

Grit, by Gillian French
Darcy’s a girl with a bad reputation, in a town too small to outrun it. Painted through the magic of gender double standards as the town “slut,” the whispers behind her back only get louder when her best friend goes missing. But there’s more to Darcy than meets the eye, and sometimes acting out is the only way she can suppress the pain of her friend’s disappearance, and the nightmare of what happened to her on a life-changing Fourth of July.

Seeking Mansfield, by Kate Watson
This Mansfield Park update reimagines Austen’s shy, displaced Fanny Price as orphaned Finley, whose godparents take her in after her parents’ death. She finds solace in friendship with their son Oliver, and in performing—if only she were brave enough to audition for the Mansfield Theater. Then the arrival in the neighborhood of young movie star siblings Emma and Harlan changes everything: suddenly Emma is gunning for Oliver, and Harlan—could it be?—seems to care for Finley. Though she’s drawn to him, she can’t help but feel he’s not her destiny…and that it’s time to fight for what is.

Thick as Thieves, by Megan Whalen Turner
The bookternet about lost its mind with the announcement of this forthcoming fantasy novel, the fifth set in the world of Whalen Turner’s Queen’s Thief series. It arrives 21 years after the series kicked off with The Thief, and centers on ambitious secretary and slave Kamet. Despite his humble beginnings, he’s sure he’s on a path to power—until he receives a warning that immediately changes the course of his life.

A Million Junes, by Emily Henry
In this magical-realistic tale of forbidden love, the children of two small-town families with generations of bad blood at their backs find themselves drawn inexorably into each other’s orbits. June is an O’Donnell, Saul is an Angert, and that should be enough to keep them apart. But with the details of their epic rift lost to history, it’s hard to stay true to the enmity between their family names. When the two dig deeper into the past (via supernatural intervention), they discover there’s more than hatred between them: there’s a curse, one they’ll have to risk everything to overcome.

The Names They Gave Us, by Emery Lord
Lucy is set to embark on a summer of camp counseling and quality time with her parents and boyfriend when the worst happens: her mother’s cancer has returned, threatening both Lucy’s faith and her ability to keep it together. When her boyfriend distances himself, and she finds herself working at a camp for at-risk youth instead of her familiar childhood Bible camp, it might be one more blow than she can bear. But she slowly finds her way (as well as friends and a crush) in her unexpected new milieu, and peace in time spent with her mother. But after family secrets are driven to the surface, her hard-won equilibrium is starkly challenged.

Love Interest, by Cale Dietrich
In the secret teen spy group the Love Interests, Caden is a Nice, the kind of guy you get close to and tell all your secrets to because you know you can trust the boy next door. Dylan is a Bad, and, well, we’ve all seen the powers of persuasion those guys can have, even when you should know better. Each one has a responsibility to lure in a girl important to their agency’s investigation, and it’s a fight to the death in the truest sense: whoever she doesn’t pick as her life partner bites the bullet. But what if neither one wants the prize at hand? What if they’re too preoccupied…wanting each other? Basically, this is the cutest premise ever, guaranteed to be the most charming spy novel YA has ever seen.

The Crown’s Fate, by Evelyn Skye
The Crown’s Game saw Vika and Nikolai competing for the honor of being the tsar’s enchanter, and now that Vika has walked away with the prize, she sees just how dangerous her new role really is. Meanwhile, Nikolai has escaped the death to which the competition’s loser is sentenced, but the shadow world he’s stuck in is no substitute for the beautiful and magical world outside. And all the while, Pasha—heir to the throne and Nikolai’s best friend—is fighting his own battles to keep his title, defeat a new challenger that would take his seat, and protect his kingdom from the growing threat of dark magic.

Antisocial, by Jillian Blake
Recently dumped and practically friendless, prep school student Anna is bracing herself for a terrible last semester of senior year. But following a series of phone hacks and leaks of her classmates’ sensitive information—incriminating photos and all—she’s not the only one bracing for impact. Somebody’s targeting her school’s most popular students, and what starts out too juicy to look away from quickly goes dark, with friends turning on friends and everybody’s most secret lives up for public scrutiny.

Seeker (Riders #2), by Veronica Rossi
In series starter Riders, aspiring U.S. army ranger Gideon Blake has a fatal freak accident…and is resurrected, with a confining bracelet on his arm, a mystical healing ability, and a whole new identity: he has become the physical embodiment of War, joining Famine, Death, and Conquest to make up the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. In follow-up Seeker, Daryn is a teen whose strange visions presaged her transformation into a Seeker, capable of helping people with her gift of seeing the future. But after she inadvertently banishes a young man to a dark, demon-plagued dimension, she knows it’s up to her to lead the riders to his rescue, no matter how high the cost.

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